There’s a lot to love about furniture flipping. It’s a chance to upcycle pieces that otherwise could have languished in the landfill, put your DIY skills to the test, and potentially even earn some extra cash on the side. Whether you’re looking for inspiration before trying the design world’s hottest hobby or in order to further hone your already-developed skills, there’s no shortage of flippers who are chronicling their projects on social media. Meet the 10 below, and get ready to hit “follow.”
Grace Elletson and her partner had just moved to Burlington, Vermont, when the pandemic hit and took a toll on their finances. To make ends meet, she taught herself how to revamp and sell old furniture, which has turned into a full-fledged business. Her expertise is in vintage and antique furniture, and her Instagram and TikTok accounts are full of useful information like what to look out for when you’re thrifting, what to do with casters, and how to identify things like “knapp joints.”
“I really emphasize in my content how important it is to take flipping furniture seriously and to treat it as an art or a craft,” Elletson says. “And while I promote having integrity in your work, the fear of imperfection should not keep anyone from getting into this. I learned primarily by making a lot of mistakes along the way. Just start, and something magical will happen.”
You’d be hard-pressed to find a craftier or more creative couple than Lindsey and Tyler Dobson in St. Petersburg, Florida. Not only did they DIY their own backyard wedding in under 60 days (complete with a color-changing bar they converted from an old TV), their goal is to make $10,000 this year by selling other people’s trash. That’s right: All of their pieces are rescued from the street, curb, or dumpster. Their Instagram and TikTok accounts demonstrate how much furniture is abandoned when it just needs some TLC.
Seeing a bleak “before” and a beautiful “after” is satisfying — but sometimes it’s hard to envision the process. And it can be especially difficult when your own projects don’t turn out perfect on the first try (a common beginner sentiment!). But flipper Meesha Malcolm works to un-blur the whole makeover process, showing her gorgeous successes and being open about her setbacks, too. (There’s even a highlight on her Instagram where she features her “Failed It” projects.)
Aside from her candor, Malcolm’s feed — on both Instagram and TikTok — is worth a follow for other reasons: Namely, her gorgeous DIY designs that often feature both painted surfaces and natural wood for a glam-meets-boho effect.
Christina Muscari in Franklin, Tennessee, has been in the game long enough to teach other flippers on this list a thing or two. “Her pieces always turn out beautiful, and I have personally learned a lot from her videos,” says Lindsey Dobson of the Florida Flipsters. On YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok, Muscari teaches you fresh ways to rejuvenate old pieces, from a linen-inspired paint technique to graphic color-blocking. You’ll also find DIYs drawn from items at Anthropologie, Pottery Barn, and Restoration Hardware, so you can get a high-end look for less.
Clinton Avery Tharp is a musician based in Oklahoma City, so you can expect his videos to be peppered with catchy ditties and tips sung for emphasis. He’s also hilarious in the vein of “Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!” with deadpan delivery and non sequiturs galore. It’s not just fun and games, though — Clinton’s been flipping furniture for about 10 years, and his Instagram and TikTok have great tips for restoring wood, cleaning upholstery, and staging pieces for pictures.
“If you are thinking about flipping furniture, I suggest you start with three pieces that you get for free from friends or family,” he says. “If you sell at least one of the pieces and really enjoyed the process, then yummy-yum-boom-boom-bang, there we go: Your furniture flipping journey has begun.”
An American based in Glasgow, Scotland, Shayna Alnwick was waitressing when the pandemic put her on furlough in June 2020. Painting her home furniture was a form of therapy and a much-needed creative outlet — little did she know that she’d discover a talent for upcycling. The Flipped Piece, as she calls herself on Instagram and TikTok, is a gallery of funky, original makeovers and a great source of tips and hacks. Don’t miss her highly entertaining “Pallet Chronicles,” in which Shayna unboxes a mystery item from a pallet of customer-returned furniture and figures out how to refurbish it on the fly.
Texas-based furniture flipper Rhonda McDonald specializes in one-of-a-kind makeovers in her signature Afro-chic style — think rich colors, hand-painted patterns, and unique touches through decals or hardware. (This stunning dresser flip combines all three.) And while McDonald frequently showcases her own finds and flips on her Instagram, she also shows off commissions she’s completed for others. That itself takes a special kind of skill, since you’re working within the constraints of a piece that you didn’t pick yourself. But McDonald nails all of them, original and commissioned, and has an eye-catching feed to prove it.
Reviving old furniture is a hobby that can suck you in quick — just ask Lauren Hull in Omaha, Nebraska. She got started by painting her parents’ kitchen table and has now turned the hobby into a lucrative side hustle. Hull used to be a teacher, and her background in education shines through in her step-by-step YouTube videos, Instagram, and TikTok. Her shorter videos are packed with useful tips, and her longer videos show all the elbow grease that goes into reworking an outdated or damaged piece. The fact that Hull’s not shy about sharing numbers means that her accounts are a great way to get a feel for what you should spend and charge for each project.
Another heavy-hitter on the flipping scene is Ontario, Canada’s Katie Scott, who got started by painting furniture as a way to battle depression. Her love of refurbishing old pieces and the tight-knit flipping community have helped Scott immensely, and now she shares her wealth of knowledge on YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok, where you’ll find everything from IKEA hacks to how-tos on creating faux leather and concrete effects with paint. She’s not afraid of risks, either, and takes on larger projects, like giving this dresser an apothecary-style makeover.
More interested in making over your existing furniture than flipping for a profit? Camille Kurtz, blogger at The Kurtz Home, will be right up your alley. Kurtz specializes not only in giving her blah furniture pieces a refreshed look, but also shows how they work within her home’s setting (much of which is also the product of DIY elbow grease). Follow her on Instagram for furniture flip inspo along with how-to instructions for other creative home projects. You can also get an inside peek at her home and workspace here.